Monday, April 29, 2019

The Biggest Little Farm: Transforms Land Into a “Farmville” Reality

By José Alberto Hermosillo

“The Biggest Little Farm” is a captivating, environmentally inspiring, and organically stimulating documentary about all the excitement of running a farm successfully in California. A total winner!

Facing eviction from their tiny urban apartment in Santa Monica, California, John and Molly Chester needed a new place to live in, a backyard where their new dog Todd could bark as much as he wanted. 

 Molly and John Chester ©2019 Neon
The California couple never imagined that their steadily growing family would soon find the land of their dreams in the thriving community of Moorpark - a citrus-growing area located one-hour northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County.

Years back, John lived on his uncle’s farm, where he was taught to respect the land. At that time, he didn’t see things the way he saw them.
The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
They dove into this new lifestyle headfirst and started researching sustainable farming online. 

The Chesters found everything they needed online: investors, volunteers, and even livestock! The outline has a similar strategy to the game we played on Facebook, Farmville, but at this time, it is accurate.

When they met Alan York, the expert in soil and ecosystems, they knew they had found a counselor and mentor. His approach had a colorful philosophy. To their advantage, York needed to be more scientific and more pragmatic.

York stimulated Molly’s vision with bold ideas about organic farming, diversifying orchards, and rotating crops - something that Medieval Cultures practiced but Modern Times forgot. The perks of running the farm brought the couple closer.
The Biggest Little Farm Mural at the Arclight, Hollywood. 
Photo José A. Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA
In 2009, John had no time to waste. His background in photography and knowledge of farming inspired him to tell his personal story about nature and life cycles. 

John began filming their journey, focusing on how the year's seasons changed and modified the environment repeatedly year after year. He used that information as a fundamental guide to working with his crew periodically.

John placed the footage together with the help of some interns. It was when he was able to finish this fun-to-watch documentary.

The cinematography is by John Chester himself, and it has the quality of any National Geographic project.

“The Biggest Little Farm” features stunning imagery combined with an accessible and fun narration that makes watching this film a joy.

After a screening in Beverly Hills, we had a very insightful Q&A with John Chester, where he reflected, “Nature doesn’t work right or wrong. It only works with consequences. The complexity becomes an emotional experience. The most crucial task is to diversify the soil, adding natural nutrients, because the conditions of the land ties with everything else.” “Farming is the most interesting video game you can ever imagine playing.”
 Emma and Greasy, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
On their particular farm, every animal is a character. They have a name and an essential job, like Emma, the pig, who never stops birthing piglets. Her best friend was Greasy, the rooster, and Todd, the inspirational dog

To transform every adversity into an opportunity, the new farmers relied on observation and discovered that even predators become pollinators to keep the balance in life.

On a farm, living and dead walk side by side, and death is only a facet of life. One of their most challenging tasks was to euthanize an animal, but remember that life recycles itself: dead means nothing to the ecosystem, only a new beginning for another being to subsist. 

John Chester added: “An embarrassing situation cripples the possibility of finding an explanation. When something goes bad, do not freak out; a problem is a chance to find a solution.”

The marvelous documentary teaches us to treasure that “observation is our superpower.”
After the screening, the director commented that people at the Berlin film festival said: “We didn’t know Americans could be so ecosystem friendly.” A big oops from the political agenda of the present administration.
 Greasy, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon.
Audiences worldwide help the good documentary earn accolades, mostly in film festivals such as Sundance and the AFI FEST. But the narrative missed essential pieces of information - financial standings, earnings and losses, and some relevant economic data, for other people who, after watching the documentary feel motivated to venture and follow the filmmakers/entrepreneurs' lead in farming. 

In the film, the lack of “money matters” and some other specific facts to make this farm sustainable compensate with natural humor, tenderness, and charm. 

Though we followed Chesters’s experiences carefully, we couldn’t stop thinking about the lives of the vast army of people we don’t see on the screen but who helped to make the film. It will be equally enlightening to see the volunteers, interns, and farm workers who keep the piece of the land alive.
Children’s book, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
“The Biggest Little Farm” profoundly impacts the viewer of its honesty and accessibility. Mainly about the significant challenges we face due to Climate Change and Global Warming. 

Thumbs up to the Chester family for their extraordinary ability to reconstruct and maintain the land where nature and humans coexist harmoniously.
The Biggest Little Farm trailer

Saturday, April 27, 2019


By José Alberto Hermosillo
Street Food Cinema, Calendar 2019 

The Street Food Cinema has announced its lineup for the 2019 season. This fun-filled outdoor movie experience is the largest in the Los Angeles area. It will run for 27 weeks at 11 locations and has planned over 50 fantastic events.

Call it the perfect date or a night out at the movies – the Street Food Cinema has brought thousands of avid movie fans to the outdoor screenings to enjoy films. The pre-show includes live music, bands, dancers, filmmakers, and celebrities.

Street Food Cinema - Los Angeles

This year’s highlights include “500 Days of Summer,” “The Sandlot,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Star is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Clueless,” “Selena,” and “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3” on a single bill.

Many people still don’t know how magical those outdoor movie experiences can be. For that reason, we strongly encourage anyone to come out and join many Angelinos in those entertaining movies and dinner celebrations.

Street Food Cinema - Los Angeles
DATES   MOVIE                              LOCATION                               
Apr 27  500 Days of Summer     LA State Historical Park (Downtown)                
May 4   A Star Is Born                  Poinsettia Rec Park (West Hollywood)
May 4   Pulp Fiction                     LA State Historical Park (Downtown)            
May 11 The Princess Bride         Griffith Park Center                     
May 11 The Royal Tenenbaums Exposition Park (Downtown)
May 18 Miss Congeniality          Glendale Central Park (Glendale)
May 18 The Wizard of Oz           Will Rogers State Historic Park 
May 25 Back to the Future          Victory Park (Pasadena)
Jun 1     Crazy Rich Asians           LA Arboretum (Arcadia)
Jun 1     Bohemian Rhapsody     Poinsettia Rec Park (West Hollywood)
Jun 8     The Greatest Showman Victory Park (Pasadena)
Jun 8     The Goonies                    Veterans Memorial Park (Culver City)
Jun 15   Shrek                                Griffith Park Center (Griffith Park)
Jun 15   Step Brothers                 LA State Historical Park (Downtown)
Jun 22   Jurassic Park                   Victory Park (Pasadena)
Jun 22   Straight Outta Compton Exposition Park (Downtown)
Jun 29   Clueless                           Westdrift Golf Course (Manhattan Beach)
Jun 29   Goodfellas                      Exposition Park (Downtown)
Jul 6      Black Panther                 Crystal Springs Picnic Area (Griffith Park)
Jul 6      Jaws                                  Will Rogers State Historic Park 
Jul 13    Raiders of the Lost Ark Victory Park (Pasadena)
Jul 13    The Sandlot                     Brand Park (Glendale)
Jul 20    Anchorman                     Veterans Memorial Park (Culver City)
Jul 20    Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Eagle Rock Rec Park (Eagle Rock)
Jul 27    Crazy, Stupid, Love.       Poinsettia Rec Park (West Hollywood)
Jul 27    Mean Girls                      Will Rogers State Historic Park   
Jul 27    Guardians of the Galaxy Victory Park (Pasadena)
Aug 3    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Verdugo Park (Glendale)
Aug 3    The Breakfast Club        Veterans Memorial Park (Culver City)
Aug 10  Monsters, Inc.                Crystal Springs Picnic Area (Griffith Park)
Aug 10  Office Space                    Eagle Rock Rec Park (Eagle Rock)
Aug 17  Pretty in Pink                  LA Arboretum (Arcadia)
Aug 17  Bridesmaids                    Will Rogers State Historic Park       
Aug 24  Napoleon Dynamite      Brand Park (Glendale)
Aug 24  Say Anything                    Pan Pacific Park (Beverly Hills)
Aug 31  Mary Poppins                  Victory Park (Pasadena)
Sep 7     10 Things I Hate About You - Will Rogers State Historic Park      
Sep 7     Dirty Dancing                 Westdrift Golf Course (Manhattan Beach)
Sep 14   The Little Mermaid       Crystal Springs Picnic Area (Griffith Park)
Sep 14   Fight Club                        LA State Historical Park (Downtown)               
Sep 21   Selena                              Victory Park (Pasadena)
Sep 21   The Lost Boys                 Pan Pacific Park (Beverly Hills)
Sep 28   Up                                     Glendale Central Park (Glendale)
Sep 28   The Matrix                      LA State Historical Park (Downtown)
Oct 5     Toy Story 2 & 3               Verdugo Park (Glendale)
Oct 12   Beetlejuice                      Will Rogers State Historic Park       
Oct 12   Addams Family Values Veterans Memorial Park (Culver City)
Oct 19   Bram Stoker’s Dracula  LA State Historical Park (Downtown)                
Oct 19   Twilight                            Victory Park (Pasadena)
Oct 19   Hocus Pocus                    Westdrift Golf Course (Manhattan Beach).

And here is the complete schedule for Los Angeles Street Food Cinema: 

Festival in LA ©2019